I am having the time of my life as Mayor of the City of Folsom!  I get to serve and represent the community that I have admired since 2008 when I purchased my home, where I built a business since 2016, and where I was elected to the City Council in 2020.  This position has challenged me professionally, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something fascinating about being a policymaker for the City of Folsom.  

The most common question I am asked is, “how do you have time to run the city and run a business at the same time?”  It’s such a great question!  I even received this question from a 3rd grader from Sandra Gallardo Elementary when the students visited the city a few months ago.  I was impressed that a 3rd grader would ask me this question!  As a restaurant owner, I have a public-facing job.  When people stop by my business, one of the most common questions I get is, “who is running the city if you’re here?”. The short answer is our City Manager, Elaine Andersen! 


As the Mayor of the City of Folsom, I join my colleagues on the Folsom City Council to ensure Folsom’s high standards for public health, safety, and quality of life. As Mayor, Folsom’s Charter defines my primary responsibilities:

  • Presiding at meetings of the City Council.
  • Meeting regularly with the City Manager to provide policy guidance. 
  • Recommending city policy, legislation, and programs.
  • Representing the city for ceremonial purposes and in intergovernmental relations.

Through responsible leadership, City Councilmembers provide policy direction and financial oversight to the City Manager, who is accountable to the City Council. 


I grew up in a large city where I voted for my mayor. The first time I experienced the Council-Manager form of government was when I moved to Folsom in 2008 and voted for a councilmember, not a mayor.  

There are two forms of government. There is a Council-Manager (aka weak-mayor) that elects all councilmembers to the City Council and employs a City Manager as the executive of the city. Amongst this group, they select the Mayor and Vice Mayor on a yearly basis that has additional responsibilities aside from being a councilmember.  The other form of government is a Mayor-Council (aka strong-mayor), where a city elects its Mayor and City Council, and the executive power is with the mayor.    


The City of Folsom has a Council-Manager form of government, the most common form in California. We benefit from this form of government because we hire a professional and experienced City Manager to operate the day-to-day functions of the city.  They are trained to handle situations and the complexities of running a city.  Councilmembers set the vision and look at the city from a broad perspective.  


In my 24 years of healthcare corporate background prior to becoming a restaurant owner, the large healthcare systems I worked for had never hired a CEO that did not possess the business acumen or leadership of the organization.  The one entity that does is government.  In a Mayor-Council form of government, a city can elect a mayor without any public policy experience or knowledge of maneuvering through government.  

In a Council-Manager form of government, the City Manager has oversight of the revenue in the same manner that businesses handle their finances.  City Managers are trained to do cost-analysis and implement best practices set by the City Council. 


The Mayor-Council form of government can get political because employees know that in 2 to 4 years, there can be change to the structure of its leadership.  In the worst-case scenario, a mayor can get elected without government experience to operate a city, so who and/or how they rely on for direction may not be in the best interest of the city and the taxpayers. A city can be put in a vulnerable position if a mayor with strong name recognition continues to get elected, regardless of how unhappy people may be with the state of the city.  Through the Manager-Council form of government, we get better performance from our government and avoid the power struggle between a Mayor and the Council.  The City Manager implements the will of the Council.  It’s more effective, there is less conflict and more gets accomplished, as the City Manager is responsive to the City Council.

I foresee the City of Folsom remaining a Council-Manager form of government.  We currently have an efficient and longstanding decision-making process and accountability. We make better decisions, and fewer mistakes — saving our city money over time.  Having an experienced City Manager operating our $102 million budget is truly in the best interest of taxpayers.  

Our city manager is Elaine Andersen. Elaine implements the policies and goals of the City Council, provides leadership for all city departments, and manages the city’s day-to-day operations. Elaine has served the City of Folsom for more than 17 years, including three years as assistant city manager and two years as deputy city manager. She has served in numerous other roles in the city, including interim assignments as community development director, human resources director, and library director. She began her career with the City of Folsom as a special projects manager.

Before joining the City of Folsom, she worked for the City of Sacramento’s city manager’s office and public works department. She previously worked for a Sacramento public affairs firm specializing in legislative projects and also for the State of California. 

If you have any ideas or concerns for Folsom, visit me at City Hall, located at 50 Natoma Street during my open office hours held every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.   I can be reached at 916-475-6474 for an appointment, and walks-ins are welcomed.  

As for my other day job, I continue to roll burritos!  

Rosario Rodriguez became Folsom’s Mayor in 2022. In addition to her elected position, she owns and operates the Sutter Street Taqueria in Historic Folsom.

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